Amniocentesis is a prenatal test that helps examine any chromosomal anomalies present in the fetus. Aminocentesis, also called Amino Fluid Test (AFT), is done to detect birth defects, genetic problems, fetal infections and lung development.
Amniocentesis or Amniotic Fluid Test is conducted to examine the chromosomal anomalies in the fetus.
This is a prenatal test in which a sample of amniotic fluid which surrounds the fetus in the mother’s womb is collected for testing. The fluid which has a water-like substance containing fetal tissue helps the doctor to know about the fetus development and the possible health or chromosomal abnormality, such as Down syndrome that the fetus may develop.
If any abnormality is detected, it can be treated while the baby remains in the womb.
Amniocentesis is performed at different stages of the pregnancy and for different reasons.
You may consider this test if:
You are above 30 years of age
The result was positive in your prenatal screening test
There is a defect in your neural tube or a chromosomal condition, such as Down syndrome detected in your earlier pregnancy
Your partner is suffering from any genetic condition or you’ve a family history of a particular genetic condition
You’ve a history of premature labor, i.e. 34 weeks before the pregnancy
You’ve weak cervical tissues which may result in premature delivery or the loss of an unhealthy pregnancy
In addition to these, other reasons for conducting this test are:
Reduce the amount of amniotic fluid
Examine the baby for illnesses or infections
Assess the anemia severity in the fetus who have Rh sensitization, a rarely occurring condition in which your immune system may produce antibodies against the surface of your fetus’s blood cells
• There is no specific preparation that needs to be done before the test; however you need to drink as much water you can because a full bladder is required for the ultrasound test.
• Moreover, do not take aspirin or such medicines that contain aspirin almost a week before the test and heparin 1 day before the procedure.
Firstly, your doctor will take an ultrasound test to detect your baby’s exact location in the uterus.
After applying antiseptic on your abdomen, the doctor will insert a thin hollow needle through the abdominal wall to make way into your uterus.
Then, a sample of amniotic fluid will be taken out in the syringe and the needle will be removed. You may feel a stinging sensation when the test is conducted which takes about 20-30 minutes.
Avoid performing any hard labour, air travel or intercourse for 2-3 days.
Besides this, contact the doctor in case:
• There is intense vaginal bleeding
• There is a persistent flow of liquid from your vagina
• Abnormal fetal activity or very less fetal movement
Risk and Complications
• Risk of miscarriage
• Uterine infection
• Needle injuries
• If you’ve an infection such as hepatitis C, etc. it may get transferred to your baby
The test usually costs between Rs. 20,000-30,000.
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